Martyn Lloyd Jones, Spiritual Depression, p. 29-31
“The same is true today, and if we are concerned about a conviction of sin, the first thing we have to do is to stop thinking about particular sins. How difficult we all find this. We have all got these prejudices. We confine sin to certain things only, and because we are not guilty of these we think that we are not sinners …the essential point is, that the way to know yourself a sinner is not to compare yourself with other people; it is to come face to face with the Law of God. Well, what is God’s Law? Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal? ‘I have never done that, therefore I am not a sinner.’ But, my friend, that is not the law of God in its entirety. Would you like to know what the Law of God is? Here it is–‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy strength. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Forget all about drunkards and their like, forget all the people you read about in the press at the present time. Here is the test for you and me: Are you loving God with all your being? If you are not, you are a sinner. That is the test… …So the test we apply to ourselves is…not ‘have I done this or that?’ My test is a positive one: ‘Do I know God? Is Jesus Christ real to me?’ I am not asking whether you know things about Him, but do you know God, are you enjoying God, is God the centre of your life, the soul of your being, the source of your greatest joy? He is meant to be…You and I are meant to be like that, and if we are not like that, it is sin. That is the essence of sin. We have no right not to be like that. That is sin of the deepest and worst type. The essence of sin, in other words, is that we do not live entirely to the glory of God. Of course by committing particular sins we aggravate our guilt before God, but you can be innocent of all gross sins and yet be guilty of this terrible thing, of being satisfied with your life, of having pride in your achievements, and of looking down on others and feeling that you are better than others. There is nothing worse than that… …I know of nothing worse than the person who says: ‘You know I have never really felt that I am a sinner’. That is the height of sin because it means that you have never realized the truth about God and the truth about yourself.”
For other posts in the ‘Forgiven Much’ series.